Key Factor 7: Competition-Calendar Planning and Structure

Key Factor #7: Competition-Calendar Planning and Structure

  • Competition is an important part of the sport experience for all athletes.
  • As athletes move to subsequent stages, training and competition become more formalized and there is a need to balance the ratio of training to competition; that is, number and level of competition.
  • The following general guidelines, based on consultations with P/TSOs and NSOs, should be considered in creating an appropriate competition calendar.
    • FUNdamentals: 1 to 2 informal competitions per year. Introduce/continue learning in different environments.
    • Learning to Train: 2 to 4 competitions per year. Continue learning in different environments.
    • Training to train: 3 to 6 competitions per year. Learn to cope with the mental and physical challenges of competition.
    • Learning to Compete: 4 to 8 competitions per year. Introduce a year-round competition plan/structure to achieve the athlete's competition goals.
    • Training to Compete: Individually tailor all training and competitions (periodization) to learn to peak for selected competitions.
    • Training to Win: Utilize multiple periodization to optimize training and competitions to peak for major events/competitions.
    • Active for Life: Can follow any stage from learning to train to learning to compete at, for example, Master's competitions and veteran games, with the focus on staying active.
  • Increased training often results in athletes moving up a division(s) to the next level of competition while athletes who do not increase their training may stay at the same level. This creates a perceived disadvantage for athletes who increase their training as part of their overall sport preparation.
  • Recommendation: SOC and its Chapters should formalize a long-range, Pan-Canadian competition calendar that provides competitive opportunities spanning local, regional, provincial, and national levels. This competition schedule could include options provided by other bodies such as P/TSOs. The competition schedule also must reflect the stages of LTAD.
  • Competition Structure
    • A fundamental cornerstone of Special Olympics is that all participants, regardless of their level of intellectual disability, have the right to quality sport training and competitive opportunities that respect the tenets of equal access and equity.
    • Recommendation: Review SOC's present competition structure in light of the different stages and principles of LTAD and the overall objectives of SOC's LTAD.